July 23, 2012

Red Pepper Bisque

Two years ago at work we had a potluck lunch, and my boss brought in this Red Pepper Bisque.  Her husband, who is the cook in their house, made it.  I absolutely loved it, so she was kind enough to bring me the recipe.  It's absolutely delicious!  So perfect for company - your guests will be amazed and think you are a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen!

I have found that you can make it with or without the roux/flour addition.  If you like the thicker, bisque-like texture then make it as the recipe reads.  If you want something a little lighter, more like a soup, than skip the roux or make it on the side and add a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.  Either way, it is amazing!

Red Pepper Bisque

15 large red peppers
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
1 stick unsalted butter
6 cups chicken stock
2 quarts of half & half
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup honey
salt & pepper to taste

The first step is to roast the red peppers.  You can do this on a grill, or by placing the peppers directly on gas burners on the stove top.  Since I don't have a gas stove top, I tend to roast the peppers on the grill or in the oven.  If you do it in the oven, place the peppers on a baking sheet and bake in oven set at 350 for about 45 minutes, turning once in a while until all sides are charred.  Remove from oven and place peppers in brown paper bag for 15 minutes, then remove from bag and peel and cut the peppers.  In a food processor, pulse peppers until pureed.  You may need to do this in batches.  

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add the flour, stirring to make a roux, and cook for about a minute.  Turn up the heat to medium-high, and whisk in the chicken stock.  Next stir in the 1/2 & 1/2, sherry, honey and pepper puree.  Bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

*NOTE - for a little kick I like to add a dash or two of red pepper flakes.  Also, you can use jarred roasted red peppers that you buy at the store, and it will taste the same.

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